Mortar & pestle

1. You said – my friendship with you is one of the joys of my adult life.
or was it
– my friendship with you has been one of the joys of my life
or was it
– our friendship is one of the joys of my adult life.
We were in the kitchen cooking and talking. I was squatting on the floor mortaring with my pestle (is that how you say it? We don’t have a verb for this in English that is specific to the tool. Or if we do I don’t know it) making spice paste for corn fritters when you said it. You stood still and looked at me, the hall where the pantry is slightly dark so you were in shadow. And I had stopped mortaring and your words filled me with memories, with a happiness and I thanked you for not giving up on me when I was imploding, for not holding my unreliability against me. If you got angry with me then you never said. You just invited me the next time and the next and the next and over time I stopped being late and stopped cancelling at the last minute because I could hardly bear the pain and shame.

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